John Frederick "Fred" Wieland was born in Neuhutten, Wurttemberg, Germany. Neuhutten is located just east of Heilbronn, about ten miles, northeast of Stuttgart and southeast of Mannheim and Frankfurt. Both of Fred's parents were also born in Germany.
Not much is yet known of Fred's boyhood years. The family story tells us that he came to America in 1860, at the age of 16, with two of his brothers. We have found one of the brothers, Adam, to have settled in Michigan. When Fred first settled down it was at Rochester, Olmstead County, Minnesota. He then relocated to nearby Oronoco, Minnesota, and remained there until 1870.
Then, Fred moved on to Swedes Forest in Redwood County, Minnesota, where he lived for several years. There he met his bride, Miss Augusta Draheim. They were married on October 15, 1872.
Augusta Draheim, was born in Bromberg, Westposen, Germany. In 1851, Posen was a part of Germany, but otherwise belongs to Prussia, about 150 miles east of Berlin.
When she was 19 years old, about 1870, she left her parents and native land to come to America. She lived in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for a half a year before joining her brother, Ferdinand Draheim, and sister, Mrs. Ferdinand Beltz, in Flora Township of Renville County, Minnesota.
Shortley thereafter, while working at Swedes Forest Township, she met Fred Wieland. They were married at the home of Fred's sister in Redwood County, Minnesota.
They resided in their home in Delhi Township of Redwood County, for a few years, from about 1872-1878. Fred joined the German Methodist Church in Florita, Minnesota, under the ministry of Rev. G. Dosdall in 1872. Here, they had their first child, Bertha Louise, born August 11, 1873. Their children Edward and Lydia were also born here. Then they sold this property and lived on their farm in Emmett Township of Renville County, until 1895. Here they added seven more children to their growing family: Sophia Marie, Fred John, William Charles, Olga Ida, Ella Augusta, Wesley Henry and George Adam Frank.
At 50 years old, Fred moved his family by covered wagon from Renville County to Bertha Township in Todd County. In October of 1895, he purchased a tract of land in Section 16, from L.B. Branch of Round Prairie.
When the 1900 Census was taken, Fred and Augusta only had seven children at home. Edward, Lydia and Sophia were not counted with their parents. Only 15 year old Olga, 11 year old Ella, and 10 year old Wesley, were attending school. George at age six was probably too young yet to go to school with the older children, and 27 year old Bertha was undoubtedly helping her mother with the younger children and the chores.
Lydia had married Charles Bluhm in April of 1900 and was counted in his family, since the census wasn't taken in Bertha until June of that year.
The children seemed to marry quickly after that, beginning new families of their own. Sophia was next to marry, in May 1901, to Herman Zimmerman. Bertha married Harvey Bowers in December of 1902.
Tragedy first struck the family when Lydia died at age 33, of a stroke, leaving her husband and two sons.
Fred John married Erma Pullman in June of 1912.
By that time, Fred was 69 years old and his health began to fade. In October of 1913, Fred went to Minneapolis to consult Dr. Eitel regarding some pains in his abdomen. Wesley and Sopia traveled with him. He returned home in early November, only to be taken to Wadena for surgery. He was operated on for cancer, and his condition was quite serious.
George had left in September to attend high school in Sauk Centre, but returned in November to see his father while he was in the Wadena Hospital.
By November 20th, Fred returned home quite weak from his operation. The doctors could not cure his cancer. Miss Antonia Roediger, a nurse from Bethesda Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, was hired to come and care for Fred at his home.
Again, sorrow was to come to the Wieland family, when Fred died of Stomache Cancer at age 69. Augusta was 62 years old. His funeral was held at the German Methodist Church in Bertha, where he and Augusta had been members. The Rev. Hoffman of St. Paul assisted Rev. G.A. Wolff in conducting the services. Fred had been an active church worker and served as a leader and Sunday School teacher in the Bertha church. He was buried at Zion Cemetery in Bertha. Fred and Augusta had been married for 41 years.
But happiness was soon to follow, for William married Lydia Leyh, and Olga married Fred Tramm in December 1913.
Edward followed suit and in November of 1914, married Antonia Roediger, his father's nurse. Wesley and Martha Fischer tied the knot in February 1915, and Ella married Harvey Voge in June of 1916.
Augusta lived four more years, watching her family grow and continue in happiness. When her failing health caused her to move from the family farm, she went to live with her daughter, Bertha, who lived in the village of Bertha. She died there, of cancer, and after funeral services at the Bertha German Methodist Church, she was buried at Zion Cemetery, next to her husband.
The Rev. E.P. Christ assisted by Rev. Charles Thiel, conducted the funeral service. The pallbearers were: Charles Bottemiller, Fred Heins, Albert Strasburg, August Rentz, Charles Voge and Adam Leyh.